Manti-La Sal

(nr Fairview to nr Castle Dale UT)
The Manti-La Sal National Forest is in my old stomping grounds from when I lived in Utah many years ago. It’s a beautiful area, up in the mountains, which always reminded me of that TV program ‘Wild America’.

Aspen trees against deep blue sky

Aspens at Gooseberry

It was just after Labor Day weekend, the last hurrah of the summer camping season; and school had already started. I knew there were good boondocking and forest campgrounds throughout the area, and I took advantage.

Tall pines next to lake

Huntington Reservoir

Blue lake nestled in the mountains

Electric Lake

Camps included an aspen grove at over 8,800 ft, lakeside in a high valley, and by a cascading creek in a narrow canyon with towering cliffs. Each different and enjoyable.

Stream in verdant mountain meadow

Miller Flat Meadow

Lake with mountain backdrop

Miller Flat Reservoir

Along the way were mountains with rocky cliffs, lakes of cool waters, tumbling creeks, meadows with wildflowers, starlit skies, and the sound of breezes in the trees. Pretty close to what I might call paradise.

Stream winding past tall pines

Huntington Creek

Creek rapids below a cliff

Ray Granger Hole

Places like Gooseberry, Miller Flat, Huntington Creek, Straight Canyon, and Joe’s Valley provided plenty of variety in landscape; and, all satisfied my artistic eye. Once again, there were periods of rain.


Rock Formation along UT-31

Tall cliffs against blue sky

More Cliffs by UT-31

Even driving between camps provided marvelous mountain scenery. Looking for pull outs to stop and take photos was a constant. A short jaunt onto gravel Skyline Drive, at about 9,500 ft elevation, followed the ridge with views of the valley below.

Rocks on edge of creek rapids

Cottonwood Creek

Rugged cliff set against billowing cloud

Cliff in Straight Canyon

A week of camping and exploring the area brought back fond memories. The whole time was spent boondocking, with each camp having a different ambiance. I’m glad I took the time to slow down and enjoy the high country.

Lake with cliffs on far side

Joe’s Valley Reservoir

Camps: Manti-La Sal NF – Boondock
Scene: Mountains, cliffs, lakes, creeks, meadows

7 Responses to Manti-La Sal

  1. J. RICHARD SECOR September 18, 2014 at 12:26 am #

    Best photos yet – fantastic!!!!

    • Pleinguy September 19, 2014 at 1:07 am #

      I really appreciate you saying so; thanks!

  2. Dizzy-Dick September 18, 2014 at 12:45 am #

    I have never tried boondocking. The rig I have now is not made for rough roads or off road. I would enjoy boondocking and I wonder if there are any areas I could go with my 38.5 foot diesel pusher. I have very little ground clearance. I knocked off my fuel filter just pulling into a gas station. Boy, that was a mess.

    • Pleinguy September 19, 2014 at 1:09 am #

      Not sure if you can. Others with diesel pusher do; but I can’t say to what extent. Don’t do anything risky.

  3. bleysingwest September 18, 2014 at 12:59 am #

    A year ago we visited Manti-LaSal … stunning in beauty, and amazingly peaceful. We are anxious to return … and must thank you for the list of other close-by places to visit! We can still hear the whispering aspens.

    • Pleinguy September 19, 2014 at 1:15 am #

      I think you were in the Manti-LaSal NF that is near Monticello in the southeast of Utah. There is another portion of it over in the center of the state near Ephraim; which is where I was. Both are beautiful though.

    • September 19, 2014 at 1:40 am #

      Indeed … I see it now! Looks like next year we’ll visit the areas you’ve pictured above … beautiful!!!

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